Boil It Down

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Sometimes we make training and our whole health and fitness journey too complex. Yes, it can be complex — you can study the human body for a lifetime and never scratch the surface — but you don't have to be a health expert to experience the wonderful benefits of a healthy lifestyle! Insisting on, or concerning yourself with every detail of eating and training may give you paralysis of the brain, causing you to take NO action. 

Once in awhile you should stop and boil things down to the basics. Whenever you're overwhelmed, fall back on a few very basic principles. Also, reflect on why you're exercising and eating right in the first place! Below, I'll offer some of my own 'boiling it down' personal thoughts and beliefs (no books or other's opinions here). Use the following questions and write down your answers:

Why do I workout? 1) I love it, I'm addicted 2) I want muscle — the more the better, 3) cause it's part of my job and I better look the part! 4) I want to live a long, quality life, and do my part in avoiding disease.

What do I need to do to be in shape? 1) Pick up heavy stuff and put it back down, 2) Get my heart rate elevated for awhile, 3) Do the above 3–4 times/week til I die.

How should I eat? 1) Eat a balanced diet, 2) eat food in its natural state, 3) eat truckloads of veggies, 4) don't smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol.

How can I get leaner so I look, feel and move better? 1) Eat slower, 2) Stop eating when I'm 80% full, 3) avoid junk food, 4) Practice moderation, 5) Eat a little higher concentration of protein, 6) lift up and put down more heavy stuff and get my heart rate up for longer periods.

What do I do about pain, health problems, and injuries? 1) Listen to my body, back off if it hurts, 2) understand that training may not be as exhilarating as it once was due to pain and loss of mobility, 3) understand that everyone is in the same boat and have sympathy for others who are struggling — encourage them, 4) Spend more time and financial resources on preventative strategies including massage, yoga, saunas, supplements, sleep, and chiropractic, 5) Go to the doctor for yearly physicals. 

I hope my 'boil downs' might help you. I'm not discouraging you from being a student of training, nutrition, and exercise physiology — I think it's a great idea to be a student of anything in which you're investing time, energy, and resources. Just don't let the fine details blind you of the basics or steal the joy of movement from you!

Peace, love, sweat,
—Joe